Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Change of Address

It's time for a blog change of address. All new blog posts can be found at Thanks to those who have stopped by this last year. Come check out the new digs!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Links Saved Today 07/15/2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Links Saved Today 07/11/2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Links Saved Today 07/10/2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

NECC - It's Not About the Technology. It's About the People.

The National Education Computing Conference (NECC) is finally over. The excitement had been building for months. With tools and sites like Ning, Twitter, Diigo, Plurk the excitement reached a fever pitch in the last few days leading up to the big event. I was lucky enough to be there this year, but it meant digging into my own bank account to do so. It was worth it!
I've been avoiding reading others reflections until I could complete my own. After a few false starts, here it goes.

Bottom line = This was a conference that focuses on technology, but the real value is in people.

Having the opportunity to meet some "friends" face-to-face was incredible. I'm one of those who feels isolated as the one, or one of the few people who promotes true technology integration in the classroom. Reading blogs and participating in social networking via Classrom 2.0, Twitter, Ed Tech Talk, along with various other Nings, and wikis has allowed me to connect with others who are trying do the same. I've been able to share, learn, discuss, and disagree. Finally getting to be in same rooms with many of the people I've known only in an online environment was amazing. Personalities are now attached to the URLs and avatars. Discussions in hallways, session rooms, over meals, and in the Blogger's Cafe were fun, funny, challenging and inspiring. Meeting new people only added to this experience. My brain is now spinning with possibilities for further work and collaboration in the coming year.

As for sessions, they were very hit-and-miss for me. Some sessions were great and others were very poor. Frustration had to be kept in check as the number of sessions I couldn't get into grew and grew. Thanks to the efforts of people in many of those sessions, recordings were made. Thanks to the efforts of people who couldn't even attend NECC this year, links to those recording were posted and promoted. MANY thanks to all of them for allowing me to have a nice long list of sessions I still have to catch up on :^)

Many discussions at NECC and after have focused on tools vs. practical use. To me, this is a critical discussion that must continue. There is supposed to be a very real purpose for all the tools we spend so much time discussing and trying out. The tools mean nothing without a valid application. Some tools are for professional development. The more critical issue for me is whether or not they can increase student learning experience and improve learning outcomes. If I can't demonstrate how a tool provides for effective and efficient use of teacher time in increasing student learning, the effort is useless. Real examples of real classroom use is an important component that I think was under-represented in sessions. The table and poster sessions are one piece. Hopefully NECC and other conferences will encourage more people to include this direct link to student learning in regular sessions as well.
I still have so much more to review, learn and absorb that it will take me at a few more weeks to take it all in. Thanks to everyone who helped make NECC such an incredible experience for me.

Here are links to some of the recorded sessions in case you weren't there, couldn't get in, or just want to take another look. Some may have duplicate entries.

NECC Video on Demand

NECC Webcasts

School 2.0: Progressive Pedagogy and 21st Century Tools

Women of Web 2.0 live from NECC08

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Summer To-Do List

I don't know about you, but it seems like my to-do list for the summer keeps growing and growing. I thought that maybe if I posted it publicly, I might hold myself more accountable for getting at least some of it accomplished :) Somehow, I think I will probably end up adding to the list as the weeks go on.

  • Help friend dealing w/ breast cancer
  • Train/fund raise for 60-mile breast cancer 3-day walk
  • Clean out drawers, closets, and garage
  • Doctor, Dentist, Optometrist
  • Jury Duty
  • Weekend in San Francisco
  • Plan and co-host summer Tapas party
  • Summer concerts
  • Read, rest, and generally relax
  • Prepare for NECC, attend NECC, try to absorb learning from NECC
  • Create classroom page on new school/district web site
  • Facilitate digital storytelling w/ summer writing workshop students
  • Prepare podcasting projects details for new class and Student Council
  • Work to convince district re: development of teacher best practices page and technology integration resources page on new web site
  • Develop training for colleagues re: digital storytelling and new web site
  • Develop audio/print components for moving level 3 CELDTs to level 4
  • Develop WebQuest/Filamentality project for effective web use/digital safety lessons
  • Develop new GATE after-school projects
  • Prep beginning of school materials
  • Learn new math adoption materials
  • Attend Nancy Fetzer training
  • Participate in grade-level prep meetings
  • Sort through Diigo lists and CUE conference resources is your list shaping up? I know I'm not the only one with a year's worth of projects to do in one summer.